Tag Archives: Dynamic Teaching for Deeper Learning

#CyberPD Week 4


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A month of focus by #cyberPD ends tomorrow with a chat with author Vicki Vinton.

dynamic teaching book cover

With every word, phrase, sentence, paragraph, chart and chapter, Vicki has led us through her vision of a Problem-Based Approach in Reading.  I’ve posted about it here, here, here, and here and provided additional links at the bottom to lead you to other resources.




Week 4:  Chapters 9 and 10

Chapter 9 is “Creating Opportunities for Readers to Consider Ideas and Opinions in Nonfiction” and the chapter opens with this quote.

“If you’re purely after facts, please buy yourself the phone directory of Manhattan.  It has four millions times correct facts.  But it doesn’t illuminate. – Werner Herzog (p. 160)

That was the beginning of the chapter and below are three of the teaching moves to support student thinking and meaning making that ended the chapter under “Steering the Ship”.

“Invite students to sort, group, and categorize ideas that seem to have something in common.”    . . .

“Notice and name how writers show us larger ideas through the details they’ve chosen.”   . . .

“Let students react versus respond to facts and ideas in writing and in talk (knowing that facts without feelings don’t illuminate and ideas can be both beautiful and scary).”  (Excerpted from Fig. 9.6, p. 188)

 

There were 11 teaching moves in total.  But these three together gave me a road map to continue to use in our Uprooted book group.   

After bookending the chapter for you,  I now must go back to discuss a quote from this chapter (and new learning for me) that facts in a nonfiction book are not really ideas.

Is this totally new?

Have I ever thought about this before?

Hmmmm . . .

Facts.

Factoids.

Not ideas.

This was a disconcerting quote that I actually missed in my first read because I thought I knew what Vicki was saying.  But when I actually went back to collect the details/ideas, it was literally like hitting the speed bump again.

Rut. Row!

Stop.

Slow down.

Back up!

What did that say?

“… students are fuzzy about the difference between topics, facts, and ideas…That’s because readers don’t really find ideas in texts; they construct them from the details they notice…Readers of this kind of nonfiction (which includes magazine articles, investigative journalism, and many kinds of essays) have to actively draft and revise their thinking as they move through a text, adding on to their own ideas as they do…These cumulative understandings are, by their very nature, more deep and penetrating -and more nuanced and complex-than those focused on readily apparent features.”  (p. 169, 170, 171)

No wonder main ideas for students (consisting of more than a TOPIC) are so darned hard.  They do require thinking and careful study of the relationship between the words and phrases.

So as a reader

I take details

that I have noticed in the “text”

and construct meaning

by actively drafting and revising my thinking  . . .

That’s the root of an idea.

And then, as I read on and continue drafting and revising, these cumulative understandings are the deeper understanding that I am looking for.

So what does this mean?

I listed “details” above in this “parsing” of the quote.

The idea in my head is that

“the thinking I do as I pull details together (maybe in my head, on paper, or out loud) is the deeper meaning that I am searching for.”

AND that

“I will continue to add to, subtly revise, or subtract from these ideas as more details are revealed by the author.  It’s my job as the reader to pay attention to the author’s ideas and opinions and to weigh and decide their value.”

I’ve deliberately over-simplified and even left out the ideas of chunking, reading, thinking, synthesizing, etc. that Vicki so eloquently included in this chapter.  This is my first draft attempt to explain why this is really important! (So if you’ve read the book, please ignore the “holes”.)

It’s so very tempting,

surface level questions

or those already listed by DOK levels,

sound like an easier “go to”!

But what will be the results?  Students who can use the language patterns to locate and answer a question without reading the text. Is that enough?  Isn’t that the existing problem for many of our MS and HS students?


My application and pulling together of “ideas” in Uprooted  (and I am not finished reading) is leading me to think that:

Racism was behind the decision to create the Japanese internment camps during World War II specifically by FDR because of his hatred of Japanese but also because of centuries of  actions, beliefs, policies, and laws that have existed since the founding of the U.S.  (Remember, it’s a draft, and I am still reading.)


Chapter 10 had some great ideas about “coaching” so please read Tara Smith’s post here for additional brilliance from/applying the ideas in Vicki Vinton’s book.

What is your current thinking about the Dynamic Teaching of Deeper Thinking?  Join the chat, Thursday, July 27, 2017 (7:30 EST) to learn more about this brilliant book!

 



Want to join #CyberPD?

Join the Google+ Community

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Follow #cyberPD on Twitter

Follow @cathymere

Follow @litlearningzone

Or check out the “Facebook page:  Dynamic Teaching for Deeper Reading” here

Twitter Chat     twitter chat.PNG

Vicki Vinton’s Blog:  “To Make a Prairie”

My padlet with my notes and some details and wonderings – definitely NOT ideas – LINK

#DigiLitSunday: #Cyberpd 3


What professional books do you reread?  

What authors do you follow?

When this long awaited book was chosen for #CyberPD, I was so excited.  Time to read and reread over half of it.  Time to share with others.  But what would I share?  It has been so tempting to “summarize” and share juicy quotes and tidbits that have captured my interest.

But here’s my simple message:

“You.Must.READ.This.Book!”

“You.Must.LIVE.This.Book!”

Why this book?

dynamic teaching book cover

Because it truly is about deepening your own understanding of reading as well as considering your own practices as a reader.  Are you, yourself, or were you ever a plot junkie, a surface reader, who is disappointed in students who don’t dig deeper into their own reading?  Who have their models been?  How would they know there is something BEYOND .  . . ?

In this book, Vicki Vinton asks you to shift your thinking to a problem solving mode.  The resources are never ending.  One that I’m focusing on within another book group (reading Uprooted) is this chart about Expository Readers.

Read the title.

Read the title again out loud.

“How Expository Nonfiction Readers Figure Out the Implications of Facts”

And then the column headings.  Consider turning them into questions.  Don’t just jump to the content!  Every word in this book matters.  Trust this author!

NF.PNG

Figure 8-1 (page 143)

What does a reader have to do?

On a second or third reread, I focused on the problem-solving task that Vicki had named under “What a reader therefore has to do”.  I also thought about how deliberate and purposeful she is as an author.  She did not set me up to read between the lines in this chart; instead she set me up to be a problem solver.  Check out the beginnings in that column:

“Look for . . .

Think: . . .

Think: . . .

Think: . . .

Think: . . .

Be aware . . .”

What’s the pattern that Vicki specifically names?  What actions is she expecting?  Problem solving is not scripted.  It’s all about what the “Thinking Teacher” does.   I would be remiss if I didn’t further point out that a question is posed after the “Think:” which is how the reader needs to interact with the text.

Reading is a transactional process.  The depth of my understanding or interaction with a text is all up to me as a reader.  There may be a slow, draggy spot.  There may be some confusion.  The joy in reading comes from one of the key anchors in this text:

“Experience the thrill of figuring things out.” (Book Cover) (More about key anchors in this post.)

And as I was reminded by Vicki, “Think”.




So what this means to me as I am reading this book in a book group that has spanned continents!

uprooted

As I am reading, I am searching for the answers to these two questions from Figure 8 – (above)

“How facts could be connected or related?”

“What do the fact imply?”

And patterns, patterns, patterns.  Where do the patterns continue?  Where do the patterns break down?  So to focus, I look specifically at Marrin’s words.  And these two quotes set the purpose:

“The historian’s job is to explain the behavior of human beings in the past.  Yet to explain is is not to explain away, much less excuse.” (Marrin, p.7)

“The term racism as used in this book, refers to an ideology, a set of beliefs, fervently held, about others and how the world works.  At its core, it insists that God, gods, or Mother Nature has divided humanity into distinct groups – races – with shared qualities. Racists, or those who believe in racism, hold that these groups are arranged pyramid-like, with the “best” or “superior” at the top, and the “worst” or “inferior” at the bottom.” (Marrin. p. 5)

How much do these two statements impact my thinking?

Marrin casually drops one-line statements into a section or a chapter about people who were racist and continues on with his narrative.  This has been beyond jarring or disconcerting to me as these one liners, when first delivered, are often not reinforced with supporting details.  Marrin reports them, moves on with the main focus, and sometimes comes back to a later detail (in another chapter) that shows the connections.  Otherwise, the reader must hold these facts in mind and consider whether they are, “Yes, a part of the pattern”, “No, just a wild statement” or “Maybe, I’ll wait for more information”.

This has been hard.

Why hard?

Back in the dark ages, “nonfiction” was anything that was TRUE, and fiction was “anything that was made up”.  Sounds simple like black and white.  But those lines blur.  Facts that are left out cause a disconnect.  Did the author leave them out because they did not support his/her basic premise?  Did the author leave them out because they could not be “sourced”?  Ignoring the facts is not the goal.  But making a statement 100 times does not make it a fact either.  Where’s the balance?  And that is the key to the “Think: . . .” actions that Vicki Vinton espouses in Figure 8-1 above.

Reading these two books (and responding in writing) side-by-side has given me the opportunity to dig in and try out the problem solving model that Vicki has laid out in her book.  One book is joyous and about all the possibilities while the other challenges centuries of historical knowledge – tainted by the historical storytellers of the past. What I do know is that Marrin’s view of U.S. History is not the history I have ever found in textbooks.  Nor is it the critical thinking that our students need in order to be productive and participating citizens of the 21st century.

Tip:  Read the charts in Dynamic Teaching as if they are GOLD!!!  

Which charts are you going to return to again and again?  

What have you applied from either chapters 7 or 8?

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Additional #DigiLit posts here

 




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Join the Google+ Community

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Or check out the “Facebook page:  Dynamic Teaching for Deeper Reading” here

#SOL17: #OLW Check In!


It’s mid-July.

How am I REALLY progressing with my 2017 One Little Word?

brave-word-art

I love that Melanie also has BRAVE as her #OLW because I so admire her writing, her work and her balance of work and home. And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Kimberly’s Ted Talk – (@onstageKimberly) – BRAVE!  And of course this quote:

brave-olw

A quick perusal of archives finds these two posts:  my January 3rd announcement here and a March check in here that was incredibly sad.  2017 has been a year of changes.

Highs

Lows

And a lot of muddling around in between

Changes

My summer “brave” exploration has been “deep spying” on my response to reading this summer.  Some of my post public work has been with #cyberpd.

Publicly responding to this text . . .

As I read, reread, jot notes, sometimes draw pictures, reread, write, and yes, add post-its.  What does the text say?  What do I still wonder about?  What will this REALLY look like for teachers and students?

dynamic teaching book cover

My focus has been on these two areas:

  • “Experience the thrill of figuring things out”
  • “Take risks, get messy, keep learning”

When it is time for “response to reading”, who makes the decision about format?  audience?  purpose?  

Who should make those decisions?

The standard that is usually “invoked” for writing in response to reading is this:

“CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.9

Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.”

Two parts – drawing evidence and then doing something with that evidence – that is the goal!  What could this look like?

Possibilities:

Chapter 5 word cloud from quotes

A. Word Art:  Most Frequent Words

Cha. 5 two

B. Specific Quotes

Ch 5 three

C. Evidence and Reflection

(larger versions here on padlet from this post)

Which version would you prefer for your evidence?  Why?  

A. Words or Phrases

B. Quotes

C. Evidence and Reflection

 

How many ways do you know/use to present evidence?




How can I “show” the thrill of figuring it out?  

How can I “show” the messiness of taking a risk and learning?  

How can I also make sure that student VOICE and CHOICE are honored?

There’s no ONE RIGHT way to share evidence.

There’s no ONE RIGHT way to share thinking.

There’s no ONE RIGHT way to support analysis, reflection, and research.

Have you done this work?  What does your “messy” work look like?

Which domain are you working in?

brave-fullan-and-dimensions-of-teacher-leadership




slice of life

Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. 

 

#DigiLitSunday: #cyberpd


Remember to check out additional #DigiLitSunday posts at Margaret Simon’s “Reflections on the Teche”.




dynamic teaching book cover

The #cyberpd discussion of Vicki Vinton’s new book is allowing readers to respond in a variety of ways.  Check out the #cyberpd hashtag on twitter or the Cyberpd google hangout for additional posts. ( Check previous post here and my padlet here.)

Section 2 begins with this quote:

“Practices are our beliefs in action.” – Regie Routman, Read, Write, Lead

and then Chapter 5 “Creating Opportunities for Readers to Figure Out the Basics” has a quote from General Gorge S. Patton and Chapter 6 ” Creating Opportunities for Readers to Experience Deeper Meaning” has a Mary Oliver quote.  The journey is now about HOW some specific core practices position readers to “grapple with those problems found in texts in order to deeply understand what the writer might be conveying about people, the world, and life.”(p. 55)

Knowing that everything has a purpose in a text, I’ve been asking myself what anchors this text for me.  The “Steering the Ship” sections (Figure 5-7, p. 82, and Figure 6-5, p. 108) are huge for me this week.  The  sections are titled “Teaching Moves to Support Thinking and Meaning Making”.

Did these “Steering the Ship” pages make you stop and pause? These are the “To Do’s” in order to teach reading  in a problem solving way.  They can be prompts for a teacher cheat sheet.  Practice, practice, practice will be required in order to have them to “naturally” be a part of my repertoire that pushes student thinking and provides responsive feedback with students developing the lines of inquiry. But that practice with less modeling and scaffolding by me will enable students to do more of the work themselves.

What are the BIG anchors of this text?

anchor

  • “Create opportunities for learning”
  • “Shift from answers to thinking”
  • “Experience the thrill of figuring things out”
  • “Embrace complexity”
  • “Take risks, get messy, keep learning”

Why these?  They are a part of the graphic on the front cover.  

Which one is repeated on the back cover?

What thinking am I doing as a result of this professional reading?

I am making notes.  I’m trying sketch noting.  I’m reading other blogs and responses.  I’m writing to consolidate my own thinking.  Writing . . . in response to reading.  Writing . . . in order to better understand my reading.  Writing and revising . . . in order to make my writing clearer.

How do you share your thinking?  

What is working for you?




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It’s messy, it’s fun, it’s scary, it’s evolving!  THINKING required!

#DigiLitSunday: Automaticity


As many of you  know, this has been a driving summer . . .

Iowa,

Missouri,

Illinois

Indiana

Kentucky

Tennessee

Georgia

Florida, Florida, Florida, Florida (it’s a long way from the top to the bottom)

and back plus

Minnesota.

Not commuter miles but trips that included LONG days.

So think about this driving analogy.

driving

Free from Pixabay; Retrieved 7.9.17

My trip to Sioux City today.

Questioning

What route?

When to stop / break / gas?

Can I beat the GPS arrival time?

Reflection

By Des Moines, I had gained three minutes according to the GPS.

And then semi-trucks passing semi-trucks going uphill . . .  slowed both lanes down.

And then there was road construction with one lane of traffic and a reduced speed limit of 55 mph.

Results (but I REALLY wanted this to be Synthesis)

Exploring alternate routes.

Considering overall rates of travel and the amount of travel in both lanes.

Learning new vocabulary

  • Rest Stop – Parking Only
  • Rest Stop – Modern
  • Rest Stop with Internet Access (including symbols for phone, Vending Machines and Camper Dump Stations

So the short part of this is that I arrived one minute before my GPS said and my route, although with some adjustments, was successfully completed.

What if ? ? ?

A. What if I had to record notes

Before the trip?

During the trip?

After the trip?

B.  I had to record the skills I had mastered

Skills?

Strategies?

Processes? (Hat tip to Kathryn Hoffman-Thompson for that idea after a Voxer #G2Great conversation)

Have you made the inference about where this is headed? . . .  

Hint – Reread Choices A and B

And Oh, My Goodness! 

I forgot the Planning that happened prior to the trip including checking for my registration, insurance card, and having the car serviced (oil change & tire rotation) prior to the trip as well as googling the distance from point A and B so I could begin to draft the specifics.

All of these little details matter when driving a motor vehicle.  There are big details that have life or death consequences like safely managing a vehicle, keeping it in the right lane, accelerating and decelerating with traffic flow, smooth lane changes WITH a turn signal, safe distances between vehicles, and paying attention to merging lanes, road signs, and . . .

I’m lucky because I’ve been driving for over four decades and I had a refresher when my son would point out driving errors while he was in a driver’s education course.  Your driving experience may include more total miles or more city miles than me.  That’s a “number” or data-based comparison.  But what about “quality”?

In my opinion it all boils down to “my confidence in my driving abilities” because I have experienced a wide variety of situations that have contributed to the automaticity of my driving habits and patterns that also allow me to be responsive and THINK when I must make “in the second/minute” adjustments.

I very deliberately chose this comparison because this “automaticity” is what we want for our students in reading.

Skilled

Competent

Strategic

Confident

Experienced

Readers

How much time does this take?  

How will we measure this success?  

WHEN will a reader be successful?




And what does this mean for TEACHERS, the adults in the classroom?  

They must be equally prepared, confident, and ready for challenges.

That is why I am in several book clubs this summer.  Probably too many.  But I am pushing my own Planning, Questioning, Reflecting and Synthesizing especially as I work through professional books.

I wrote about the beginning of #CyberPD and Vicki Vinton’s Dynamic Teaching for Deeper Reading here.  This thinking fits with a Facebook and Twitter study of Disrupting Thinking by authors Kylene Beers and Bob Probst.  Margaret Simon wrote about both of those today here.  As discussed at the last #G2Great chat with Linda Rief, Reading is about the meaning that the reader understands as a result of his/her transaction with the text. Reading is NOT extracting factoids.

Without spending a great deal more words, I believe that when students can and do

Plan

Reflect

Question

Synthesize

on their own (P,Q,R,S) in real authentic work (not just school work), they WILL BE Skilled, Competent, Strategic, Confident, and Experienced Readers!

What do you do daily to help students “transact” with text in the form of stories, books, poetry, nonfiction, art works, video, and audio?  

How will you know when students have reached automaticity?   

How will you know your students are skilled, competent, strategic, confident and experienced readers?




#DigiLitSunday:  More posts from Margaret Simon and Reflections on the Teche.

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#SOL17: #CyberPD


I read.

I reread.

I jot.

I think.

I read.

I write.

I tweet.

Dipping into the facebook group here

@HeinemannPub resources here

and original blog posts at “To Make a Prairie” here.

It’s a delicate dance similar to a waltz.

Read

Think:  “How does this fit into my current beliefs?”

Write down questions, changes, fleeting thoughts . . .

To be absorbed into the mental stream of consciousness

Synthesis

A new belief

Test it out

Problem solving

And with reading, writing, thinking, and more practice . . . It’s time to begin sharing!




What’s up?

This week marks the beginning of #cyberPD for the summer of 2017.  Check out the hashtag and the blogs and hold onto your brains as the pace is quick, the thinking is challenging, and you will question your own beliefs about reading!  Be prepared for the provocative nature of this book, the discussion, and the debate!

Here’s the challenge from Ellin Oliver Keene in the Foreword:

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The book:

dynamic teaching book cover.PNG

The schedule:

cyber pd




Why were Chapters 1-4 challenging?  

Because I didn’t begin with them.  I began with Chapter 5.

Check the text.

Vicki gave readers to start with either part 1: background, values and changes or part 2:  problems and practices.  Of course, I began with Part 2.  It’s my favorite.  But in order to sustain changes, I know that I have to understand the “why” in order to stay the course and continue to “steer the ship”. (page xix)

Values and Beliefs:

Reading is meaning.

Meaning is constructed by the reader.

Use inquiry or a problem-based approach.  What I do 1:1 with striving readers.

Inquiry or problem-based approach with all – that’s new!

Students doing the work.

Students thinking.

Ditch assigned patterns of close reading. (AMEN!)

Critical thinking.

Creative thinking. Hit the brakes!  Do I really get the difference?

Real meaning of read closely and deeply.  (YES!)

Teaching vs. learning (including over scaffolding and too much priming the pump)




I’m still learning about problem-solving.  I understand the basic principles.  As I read this summer, I’m keeping track of what I do when I get stuck, tangled up in the words or tangled up in the ideas.  How do I work through the “stuck” and the “tangles”.  I need to continue to practice on my own reading.

Same for creative thinking and critical thinking.  Such a delicious thought that they are not the same.  I’ve had years  decades of imitating, patterning, and coasting in the shadows.  Am I really creative?  Too early to tell.

What do you value in reading?  

What will you read that will be provocative this summer?  

Do you dare break out of your complacency?




Want to join #CyberPD?

Join the Google+ Community  https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/107711243109928665922

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slice of life

Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum and the #SOLSC that runs from March 1 to the 31st. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. 

#SOL17:  Structure


I had to go back. my fifth time to reread the opening chapter.  This is the first paragraph:

” She stood at the window of the Manhattan apartment, peeking through a slit In the drapes. Her hands trembled.”

I knew the “she” was Gabriela. That was obvious from the first reading. But what did I know about Gabriela. Or more importantly, what had I MISSED about Gabriela?

MY task . . . Self-imposed . . . To make sense of Jeffery Deaver’s The October List. 

I had already read the preview on my kindle. I was going to check the library for a print version, but there it was at eye level at the Dollar Store with a $3 yellow sticker.

The inside flap:

“Gabriela waited desperately for news of

Her abducted daughter.

At last, the door opens.

But it’s not the negotiators.

It’s not the FBI.

It’s the kidnapper

And he has a gun.”

How did Deaver create suspense?

He chose Structure.

He began with the ending and went backwards one scene at a time.

As a reader, I had to figure out which details were important in the past and where were the red herrings that led me off the path? Rocket science? No! BUt I was reading this book as I began Vicki Vinton’s,  Dynamic Teaching for Deeper Learning, and I did not want to merely read it as a “plot junkie” as mentioned in chapter five.  I wanted to consider HOW I deliberately made sense of this text in order to better inform my reader lay self (and perhaps borrow the idea for a longer writing task).

I started a list. Basic jots of key details.

I wished for a talking partner to share ideas.

I made some oral notes on my phone.

I began to look for patterns.

How much time and how many chapters elapsed between key details?

Tally marks were replaced with questions

And then with possible solutions.

But how could they be solutions when I already knew the ending?

Events revealed.

Important?

Too soon to know.

But the compelling story line . . .

Two days,

A mother, a kidnapped six year old daughter,

A half million dollar ransom

And “The October List” to be delivered within 30 hours

OR . . .

Narrative Structure?

Typical structures include:

Plot Line

Story Arc

Story Map

Sequential

Flashback

Episodic

Scene by scene

Beginning, Middle, End

How does an author decide?

And even more importantly, how does a reader make sense of the structure?

What works for you?

And thanks to fellow slicer”Arjeha”, I already knew the key to the Structure, but not the key to the kidnapping!  Check out additional slices at TwoWritingTeachers.wordpress.com

Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.

#DigiLitSunday: Critical Thinking


 

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Additional posts at Reflections on the Teche

So I had a week’s worth of thinking about this topic after Margaret Simon proposed it last week in a response to my blog here. But this quote really caused me to pause yesterday. “Critical thinking” is a buzz word; what does it really mean?

blog-critical-thinking

. . . “not in what it thinks, but in how it thinks.”

In the field of education and state standards, Iowa was the LAST state in 2008 to adopt state standards for all students in Iowa because of our much lauded “local control”.  So when I look for “critical thinking” I rely on the 21st century standards that are in addition to the literacy standards that apply for all content areas.

“The reality of building capacity for the 21st century is that we do not know what the work of the future will be like (Darling-Hammond, 2007) or how technology will influence health and financial issues. The challenge is to prepare students to think critically, to engage in mental activity, or habits of mind, that “…use facts to plan, order, and work toward an end; seek meaning or explanations; are self-reflective; and use reason to question claims and make judgments…” (Noddings, 2008). It may be that our task is not only to prepare students to “fit into the future” but to shape it. “…If the complex questions of the future are to be determined… by human beings…making one choice rather than another, we should educate youths – all of them – to join in the conversation about those choices and to influence that future…” (Meier, 2008).”

This challenge continues to be hard work. “To think critically”, “to engage in mental activity” and “…use facts to plan, order, and work toward an end; seek meaning or explanations; are self-reflective; and use reason to question claims and make judgments…”  Those quotes are hard to define, explain, teach and even harder to assess.

What does “critical thinking” look like in a classroom?

Well, the easiest answer is to go directly to Vicki Vinton’s post today.  Yes, NOW!  Stop.  Go read it.  Then come back.  THAT post is all about critical thinking!  Is that the work that your fifth graders are doing?  Is that the work that your high school students are doing?

In the spirit of full disclosure,

that is work that I NEVER did even in college.

I seem to be saying that a lot lately.  Maybe I went to the wrong school.  Maybe I was educated in the wrong era.  Maybe I was never “pushed” to go beyond the literal.  Maybe I was not really paying attention.  Maybe I never had to do any critical thinking in school.  YEP, I was thinking, without a single clue of HOW to be thinking!

This might have been a school’s approach to “Critical Thinking” in the past. . .

critical-thinking

or still in the present. You be the judge!

Has it been effective?

When problem solving is a part of the critical thinking conversation the water may be muddied as the two are not necessarily the same.

critical-thinking-two

Nevertheless, critical thinking will be required of all our students in their lifetime.  They need the best preparation for life possible and that DOES include learning to read and understand at deep levels as well as a call to action to solve problems and think of creative solutions.  Critical thinking does require a variety of skills as shown in this graphic.

critical-thinking-three

And unfortunately, we will continue to expect folks to use all of these critical thinking skills to process driving situations, TV commercials, and yes, printed text almost simultaneously.  In order to be able to do this efficiently and effectively, our students will need a lot of practice.

How will you continue to define and study your own knowledge base of “critical thinking”?

When do you use “critical thinking” in your life?

How do you model, plan for, and provide time for critical thinking in your classroom?

critical-thinking-four

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